Los Angeles Gun Buyback Event Set for May 4 at Four Sites

No questions are asked at the events where people can bring guns to exchange for Ralphs cards

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    NEWSLETTERS

    LAPD officials laid out guns for the media to see after a gun buyback in 2012. A new buyback event was scheduled Tuesday for May 4, 2013.

    The next installment of Los Angeles gun buyback events will be held May 4 in Central and South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, city officials announced Tuesday.

    During the exchange, people can voluntarily surrender their guns, with no questions asked, in exchange for a Ralphs grocery card.

    People who turn in assault weapons can get up to $200 to spend on groceries, while those handing in handguns, rifles and shotguns will get up to $100.

    Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck said the buyback will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 4 at:

    • the Los Angeles Fire Department's Frank Hotchkin Training Academy, 1700 Stadium Way, Elysian Park;
    • Park & Ride Parking Lot, 1300 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Wilmington;
    • Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 7900 S. Western Ave.; and
    • Van Nuys Masonic Building Association, 14750 Sherman Way.

    Ballistics testing will not be done on the surrendered firearms, and police officers will not be taking pictures of participants or logging license plate information.

    Almost 10,000 firearms have been turned in since the program was started in 2009 by Villaraigosa's Gang Reduction and Youth Development office, which worked in collaboration with the LAPD, community groups, and religious organizations to put on the event.

    An LA buyback held in December following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut brought in more than 2,000 firearms.

    While Beck and Villaraigosa hailed the program as a way to get weapons off the streets, some critics have questioned the effectiveness of such efforts.

    A 2004 report by the National Academy of Sciences titled "Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review'' found that "the theory underlying gun buyback programs is badly flawed, and the empirical evidence demonstrates the ineffectiveness of these programs.''

    The report found that guns that are typically surrendered in buyback programs are those that are least likely to be used in criminal activities, such as guns that are old or malfunctioning and guns owned by people who derive little value from possessing them.

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